NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Kenyan seven-member squad will be hopeful to leave a
lasting mark in Birmingham City when the best athletes
converge for the four day World Indoor Championships
from March 1-4.
of the biannual event have confirmed the city of
Birmingham will be the focal point as from Thursday when
618 athletes from 145 teams converge for this year’s
World Indoor Championships.
fronting former World Indoor 3,000m champion Helen Obiri
to anchor the team, head coach William Tanui remained
optimistic the country will weather the storm and post
better performance to eclipse the two bronze medals won
in Portland, USA in the 2016 edition.
“The team is
strong and focused. They have had their experiences
running in indoor championships in Europe and USA. Some
won their tickets through wild card by IAAF because they
dominated the World Indoor Tour circuit,” he said on
Friday from Eldoret.
The IAAF has
confirmed that with 618 athletes from 145 countries
having been entered for the World Indoor Championships,
starting one week today in Birmingham, it will be the
biggest congregation of elite runners for the four day
USA two years ago had at this stage before the event 547
athletes from 148 countries and regions.
that Birmingham athletics fans enjoy most is the women’s
3000m, which has become a momentous one for Ethiopia.
Never before had the East African country managed to
take a medal in an event they were to come to dominate.
Of the eight finals contested from 2003 to date, seven
have been won by Ethiopians.
Adere, Meseret Defar have since become the most
successful 3,000m runner in the history of the World
four successive golds, turning the tables on Adere in
Budapest in 2004, then retaining her crown in Moscow in
2006, Valencia in 2008 and Doha in 2010.
in 2012 she took silver behind Kenya’s Hellen Obiri and
in Portland in 2016 she was runner-up behind defending
champion and compatriot Genzebe Dibaba.
and Dibaba will be facing off again in Birmingham and
the fastest legs will carry the day.
named Obiri together with Beatrice Chepkoech and
Margaret Nyairera in 800m. Ethiopia will see Dibaba
double up in 1,500m and 3,000m.